Are you recently engaged and ready to select your wedding gown? Are you wondering whether an A-line skirt or a mermaid line is more in vogue? Which neckline will better highlight your beaming face – halter, jewel or sweetheart? Have you compared fabrics such as silk, satin, taffeta and peau de soie? White or ivory?

These are all valid and quite predictable challenges, but – HELLO! It’s 2010 and your choices are more varied than ever before. This is welcome news for brides who are tired of the “same, old” look and crave a more exciting unique look that is theirs alone. In 2010 you have the opportunity to think outside of the box, to make your wedding attire – and, indeed, your whole wedding event – one of a kind, perfect and personal.

Color variations have been creeping into dress designs for a few years now. A splash of your favorite color in beading, embroidery or a sash can be a beautiful addition, as long as it enhances rather than overpowers the integrity of the gown. Brides with Asian or Russian heritage may even be looking for traditional red gowns for their most important day. Why shouldn’t you have a color you love?

In addition to color considerations, there may be alternate touches that you want to incorporate, such as nautical or tropical highlights if your marriage will have a seaside ambiance. Think seashells, clam bakes, seafood buffets and unity sand ceremonies. Go barefoot if you marry on the sand and make sure everyone is cool and comfortable in causal attire and flip flop sandals. If you plan a destination wedding, take clues from the surroundings to complement your nuptials.

If you or your sweetie have rural roots, how about a country/western wedding in an updated barn or saloon atmosphere? Thematic touches on your gown will be fringe instead of lace, and a sweetheart or keyhole neckline. Guests and bridal party might wear denim, and of course, everyone wears boots! You’ll have a barn-dance reception, complete with barbequed steak or a pig roast, and then ride off into the sunset on your ribbon-adorned horses or a horse and buggy.

Theme weddings, such as a cowboy chic version are gaining in popularity because personalities can be celebrated. Redneck weddings will see touches of camouflage fabric, even on the bride, while “Celebrity” or “Movie Icon” celebrations will feature designer copies in the style of J-Lo or Madonna, Jackie O, “Gone with the Wind” or “Lord of the Rings”. Sequins and ostrich feathers, anyone?

Imagination and historical research come together for Vintage weddings. Styles from the “Roaring 20s”, the “Retro 50s” or any ‘Blast from the Past” will have you sighting not only Elvis, but also Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. (Replica Las Vegas casino venue?)

If it’s the Roman times that fascinate you, your dress will be an embellished toga, or if you prefer medieval touches, you may feast on grapes and rotisserie meat in a tight corset bodice. Wreaths, garlands and candles will be everywhere.

Victorian-inspired gowns will have long sleeves, high necklines, large bustles and perhaps a coordinating wedding bonnet. Gloves and parasols will be abundant at the tea party! Yes, even guests may be asked on the invitation to dress in period attire.

What about a Gothic themed wedding? Or Enchanted Forest? Or African Safari? If these ideas are too “over the top” for you, light up your wedding with a fairytale look. I see lots of tulle draping, baby’s breath, moss, and even fairy wings on the tiny flower girls. Your dress will have a princess silhouette and a billowing ball gown skirt. Maybe it even lights up with LED battery twinkle lights! Think Camelot, Cinderella, Arabian Nights or Romeo and Juliet.

Champagne and a chocolate fountain effortlessly highlight a romantic celebration of love, along with roses and candlelight. Your dress will be champagne or pink in color with floral and lace accents. Your bridesmaids will wear brown and pink or brown and aquamarine.

A classic wedding featuring black and white is sophisticated and modern. For this wedding you would select a sleek sheath or a strapless trumpet dress. Perhaps a silky scarf drapes one shoulder or seed pearls follow the neckline. Black and white balloons, floating candles, white orchids or tulips and classic roses of any color would complete the look.

If the date of your wedding coincides with or is close to a holiday, you can borrow the colors and symbols of the season or holiday to enhance your day: poinsettias and fur for December weddings, hearts and lace in February, dragons for Chinese New Year and “anything goes” for Mardi Gras.

Some say you must select a theme first, then select attire, food and décor to match. Others say the bride’s dress comes first, from which the theme flows. Whatever your particular tastes and preferences, make sure the theme, and especially the dress will suit the uniqueness in you. Listen to your heart. You are the star of the show and must look and feel confident, comfortable and radiant.

Now, for headpieces……

By Carol Gartrell
Bridal Seamstress